RIYADH: US-based global engineering consultancy Bechtel has been appointed as the project management consultant for Trojena, a year-round winter sports complex being built in the northwest of Saudi Arabia as part of the futuristic NEOM giga-project.
It is a key development that will contribute to the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 goals of growing tourism and diversifying its economy away from hydrocarbons.
Trojena, which is due to be completed in 2026, is in an area of NEOM where winter temperatures drop below zero and year-round temperatures are generally 10 degrees cooler than the rest of the region.
Such conditions will allow Trojena to offer the Gulf’s first outdoor ski experience and host the 2029 Asian Winter Games.
One of 10 regions within NEOM, it is about 50 km inland from the Gulf of Aqaba in an area that, like much of the rest of the Kingdom, receives very little rainfall. The site spans 60 sq. km, at an elevation of between 1,500 and 2,600 meters.
The complex will have year-round skiing, chalets, high-end residences, ultra-luxury hotels and a five-meter-deep manmade lake filled with desalinated sea water.
“NEOM is without question the most ambitious project in living memory, and we are proud to expand our role to support the Trojena project,” said Jake Mumm, Bechtel’s regional managing director for infrastructure.
He added: “From a construction perspective, NEOM offers once-in-a-lifetime career opportunities for Saudi nationals, who will be helping to open the world’s eyes to the Kingdom’s outstanding natural beauty alongside futuristic technology.”
Commenting on the bid award, Philip Gullett, executive director of Trojena, said: “NEOM and Trojena continue to attract international firms as collaborators of a new future where people can live, work, and play in harmony with nature.
“Our vision defies current industry practices and lays the foundation of what sustainable regional and tourist developments can be.”
“It is inspiring to witness how the world’s leading minds are coming together to redefine sustainability while maintaining a bespoke development that adapts to the surroundings and exceeds visitors’ expectations,” he continued, adding: “Tourists will be able to experience all this at Trojena, a destination unlike any other on earth.”